Mediterranean-style diets linked to memory benefits

68667008-4ab7-4329-95f8-3380f696ac6earticleimage.jpg

26 Jul 2017 --- Eating foods that are included in either the Mediterranean or MIND diets has been linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The Mediterranean diet, rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, and fish, has been proven to have vascular and anti-inflammatory benefits and may be neuroprotective, according to the study. Neuroprotective diets are associated with better cognitive function: the Health and Retirement Study. Processed foods, fried and fast foods, snack foods, red meat, poultry and whole-fat dairy foods are infrequently eaten by those following the Mediterranean diet.

MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It’s similar to the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet as well as the Mediterranean diet. It includes 15 types of foods. Ten are considered “brain-healthy” food groups: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil and wine. Five are considered unhealthy: red meat; butter and stick margarine; cheese; pastries; sweets; and fried or fast foods.

The study notes that dementia is a major cause of death and disability in older Americans, and therefore there is a great deal of interest in identifying lifestyle approaches like the Mediterranean and MIND diets for prevention of cognitive decline with aging.

For the study, researchers examined information on the diets of 5,907 older adults who participated in the Health and Retirement Study. The participants filled out questionnaires about their eating habits. Researchers then measured the participants' cognitive abilities, mostly focusing on their memory and attention skills.

When the researchers compared the diets of participants to their performances on the cognitive function tests, they found that older people who ate Mediterranean and MIND-style diets scored significantly better than those who ate less healthy diets. In fact, older people who ate a Mediterranean-style diet had 35 percent lower risk of scoring poorly on cognitive tests. Even those who ate a moderate Mediterranean-style diet had 15 percent lower risk of doing poorly on cognitive tests. The researchers noted similar results for people who ate MIND-style diets.

This study suggests that “greater adherence to the Mediterranean diet and MIND diet was independently associated with better cognitive function,” according to the researchers. What's more, older adults who followed these healthy diets had lower risks of having cognitive impairment in later life, they note.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

RELATED ARTICLES
Homepicture

Clean label: Laboratoire PYC goes for transparency in supplements

10 Oct 2018 To meet the growing consumer demand for ...

Homepicture

Astaxanthin could help stave off sarcopenia in seniors

10 Oct 2018 A formulation containing AstaReal natural ...

Homepicture

Enhanced beverage portfolio: Keurig Dr Pepper to acquire Core in US$525m deal

28 Sep 2018 Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has entered into a ...

Homepicture

Polyol ambitions: Sunar Misir invests in sorbitol and maltitol capacity

24 Sep 2018 Sunar Misir plans to reach an installed capacity ...

Homepicture

Pesticide Testing: NSF International updates dietary supplement certification standard

14 Aug 2018 NSF International and the NSF/ANSI 173 Joint ...